The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native Book 4, Chapter 2 Summary
He is Set Upon by Adversities; but He Sings a Song
- Eustacia marches home after her fight with her mother-in-law and yells to Clym about his mother.
- Clym is upset and demands to know what's up, but Eustacia refuses to repeat what was said.
- Later, Thomasin visits Clym and tries to console him about the situation.
- She also brings Clym his share of the inheritance money; Thomasin had spoken with Mrs. Yeobright and the truth about the money finally came out.
- Clym starts studying harder so that he can move Eustacia into a nicer house and make her happier.
- But he studies so hard that he completely ruins his eyes.
- Seriously, Clym studies himself blind. Let this be a cautionary tale.
- The doctor tells Clym that he'll have to rest his eyes for months and that he won't be able to read.
- So Clym's plan to open a school is a bust and he decides to become a furze-cutter for the time being. Eustacia is horrified.
- Clym is pretty happy as a furze-cutter and spends his day working hard, communing with nature, and singing lovely French songs.
- Eustacia overhears him singing and loses it.
- She basically accuses him of ruining her life and then singing about it like a jerk.
- Clym insists that there's nothing wrong with his current job and that Eustacia shouldn't be a snob and ought to look on the bright side.
- Eustacia goes home, angry and crying.
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